By Staff Reporter
Three South African nationals, a man and two women, have been convicted and fined a total of N$35 000 or 17 years in prison on charges of dealing in dependence producing substances.
The case of another South African national who faces the same charges has been postponed to July 24 for plea and the accused remanded in custody pending a formal bail application by his legal representative. The charges against two Namibian male nationals were withdrawn.
The case, the State against Bonga Madola and five others, comes from last year in February when the six were arrested for possession of cannabis.
Magistrate Dina Usiku first sentenced Bonga Madola (26) and Tobela Madola (31) each to a fine of N$10 000 or five years imprisonment each, while Fezela Kunyuza (44) charged with the possession of 87 grams of cannabis was sentenced to a fine of N$15 000 or seven years imprisonment.
She then proceeded with the case of the other three accused Hendrik Gariseb (24) and Nehale Fillemon (29) against whom the charges were withdrawn and Nebulakazi, also a South African national, whose case was postponed to July.
The case comes from last February when the six were arrested.
Passing sentence, magistrate Usiku pointed out that the court in passing sentence would not lose sight of the personal circumstances of the accused as it would also not ignore the seriousness of the crime and the emphasis society puts on this crime.
Equally, the court would not ignore the guilty plea by the accused and show of remorse for the crime they committed. She noted that drugs had a serious impact on the youth who become dependent on them hence the court had a duty to curb its use. In doing this, it would pay due regard to the minimum penalty set by the law as much as it would treat the accused according to their personal circumstances.
The legal representatives for the various accused pleaded in mitigation for their clients, among others, that they were all first offenders and cited the time some of them have spent in custody since they were arrested last February until now, which is a year and a couple of days.
The magistrate ordered that the drugs, which served as exhibits in the trial, be destroyed under the supervision of the head of the drug unit of the Namibian Police.